The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - J.H. Hutton's tour diary in the Naga Hills

caption: Unwanted pregnancy of a mentally retarded girl at Jakhama; fear of infanticide
medium: tours
keywords: seductionillegitimacytaboopaternity
person: YarreZhotosePutsonu
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Zhakhama (Jakhama) Khuzama (Kuzama) Kohima
date: 10.8.1923-12.8.1923
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 6.8.1923-12.8.1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 10th
text: To Jakhama. On the way I stopped and recounted Kuzama.
text: I also heard a case there between one Yarre who accused two young men Zhotose and Putsonu of having seduced his idiot daughter who was pregnant. They took oaths on 8 lives each that they were not the culprits. The father of the girl then said that he was afraid of the village compelling his daughter to commit infanticide, as it was taboo to rear any child whom no man would acknowledge as his. Probably the idea was that it was unnaturally conceived, but anyway this custom is common in the Angami country. I called the gaonburas and the village priests and told them that if anything happened to the infant, I should hold them personally responsible as well as the person that put an end to it. I am not sure, however, that I did right, for I doubt if it is wise to aid the survival of mentally defective strains.
text: 11th
text: Halted; counted Jakhama, and heard some cases.
text: 12th
text: To Kohima.